February 2015 was a big month for news in the renewable energy sector as some of the biggest names in business have made huge investment commitments. It all started with Apple, who early in the month revealed plans to build an $850 million solar farm which will add 130 megawatts of new solar power to California. That’s enough energy to power about 50,000 average homes, or as Apple intends, to cover all of the company’s energy needs across the state. This includes Apple Campus 2, other California corporate offices, the data center in Newark, California, and even the 52 Apple stores in California – that’s a pretty ambitious plan.
Not to be outdone, Google announced via its Google Green Blog that it had agreed to purchase a massive amount of wind energy for its headquarters in North Bayshore as a part of the company’s commitment to being a carbon neutral company. The 24-turbine wind farm will produce 43 megawatts of electricity starting in 2016, which Google believes will offset the entire carbon footprint of their offices.
On the heels of these major announcements, Kaiser Permanente one-upped the competition by signing PPA deals for a total of 153 megawatts of solar and wind energy. Over two decades, Kaiser will purchase 110 megawatts of solar capacity and 43 megawatts in wind, all in an effort to cut half of its electricity consumption in California.
As these corporate titans make major inroads into the renewable energy sector and take on the responsibility of their carbon footprint, they not only boost the domestic renewable energy production and output, but also set the trend for corporate sustainability efforts. Deals such as these three can only be good omens for the future of the renewable energy industry.